Wednesday, January 18, 2017


By Juan Montoya

In a clear rejection of her management style, a majority of the board present at Tuesday's monthly meeting of the of the Brownsville Independent School District sided with former Veterans Memorial High School principal Maria E. Solis on her Level 3 Grievance.

The vote was 5-0, with trustee Cowen abstaining. Trustees Dr. Sylvia Atkinson, Minerva Peña, Laura Perez-Reyes, Cesar Lopez, and Joe Rodriguez – the latter albeit grudgingly – voted to return her to her former level. Carlos Elizondo was absent.

The board instructed Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas to return her to her pay level and to a similar position she held before.

Once a grievance gets to Level 3, it means that the employee has exhausted all avenues for relief and the board decides the outcome of the complaint. If the board had denied her grievance, it opened the door to litigation in the local courts. In a previous meeting, the administration had suggested that the board hire an attorney to sit on the Level 3 meeting and make recommendations for their consideration.The grievance involved allegations that two board members had meddling in the purchasing and staffing at a school. A majority of the board turned Zendejas' proposal down.

Solis claimed to have been approached by board members Joe Rodriguez, Carlos Elizondo and Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas on a number of issues. Among these were:

1, the illegal hiring of coaches at the school
2. the hiring of Elizondo's wife (a counselor)
3. Forcing VMHS coaches to purchase athletic equipment from vendors associated with Rodriguez, himself a vendor for BFN, an athletic equipment vendor
4. Forcing VMHS principal Solis to contract with Joe Rodriguez's preferred vendors for graduation products (rings). Sources say that Rodriguez was pushing for the school to purchase graduation products (rings) from Herff Jones, the same vendor on the agenda who wants to donate 28 rings to Porter High School. The same sources say that Rodriguez told Solis that "You need to give business to these people. They take care of us."

Our sources at the BISD say that Solis, the former principal at Veterans Memorial High School, was a rising star in the district until she started getting personal requests from certain board members for hiring and purchases at the school. Then, out of nowhere, she was transferred to be the principal at Lucio Middle School, a clear demotion.

There was another wrinkle here. Solis' brother, Jorge Lerma, is a lieutenant at the Brownsville Fire Dept. Lately, we have heard that Elizondo is exerting pressure on Lerma and making his life difficult. Remember we told you about the city personnel policy that says that city employees cannot hold elected positions in local school boards because of a possible conflict of interest?

Section 702: Political Activity
"B. Specifically, City Employees may not engage in the following activities:
4. Hold an elective City office or hold an elective or appointive office in any other jurisdiction where service would constitute a direct conflict of interest with City employment, with or without remuneration. Upon assuming such office, an Employee shall resign or shall be dismissed for cause upon failure to do so."

Conveniently, Elizondo did not attend the BISD meeting or the city commission meeting Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the BISD rumor mill was working overtime with suggestions that board counsel had been directed to devise an exit strategy for Zendejas, who was given a raise and her contract extended before the Novemeber 2016 board elections.

Zendejas has been seen as doing the bidding for Rodriguez and Elizondo and the other members who comprise the majority of the board. However, the rejection of her actions in the Solis case indicates that other board members are starting to shy away from the Rodriguez-Elizondo core and aligning themselves with a new majority.


Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid Juan this had nothing to do with Carlos Elizondo or even Jorge Lerma being retaliated. Carlos is very good friends with Jorge. Tell Rigo and Marco to quit trying to make something that isn't there.

The truth is Dr. Linda Gallegos is sister of Ruben Gallegos daughter of Dr. Ruben Gallegos. Ruben partner is Eddie Lucio III the state representative. Spoiled Linda wanted the position of the new Veterans High School. The pressure wasn't from Carlos Elizondo but them to please her sister.

Get your facts straight. Who works for who? Sylvia Atkinson is the HR at Rio Hondo ISD, Eddie Lucio III is the City Manager at Rio Hondo. Sylvia was the BISD HR that put Solis as principal at VMHS. The change was made by them in turn allowed Linda to step in knowing the grievance was going to be overturned. Solis was played and so were you Juan. Who knows if she was going to hire Eddies friends or himself. Now you know the real story.

Get off Carlos Juan. He is not the boogie man. Yes you the mouth piece for Rigo Bocanegra. We get it.

BobbyWC said...

The children still lose because she is no longer the principal. Desesperanza miscalculated how fast Salazar would turn on her to protect his own butt. This is also a slap in the face to Mike Hernandez who has backed Desesperanze and her tactics.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Eddie Lucio III is City Manager at RH?



Anonymous said...

You know nothing about Educational administration. Why would Dr Gallegos want to go from the main office to a high school? You're an idiot do the math. At the main office you don't have all the extra responsibilities you would at a high school. Dr Gallegos was ASSIGNED that position and had no choice but to take it. Spoiled Linda? She has a doctorate and many years in administration for BISD. What do you have? Mary Solis is a friend of the Gallegos and Lucio families. Get your facts straight before you open your mouth.

Anonymous said...

zendejas needs to get out .
we need help in our district now !!

Anonymous said...

Seriously where do you get this info. Why would anyone tell you anything. Here this whole time everyone though Cata Presas-Garcia was your inside mouth piece. Well she is out and still you are being fed info on BISD. Guess the snitch is on BISD payroll? Depressing!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Mary Solis was brought in to Rivera High School as an assistant principal by Mary Tolman (Sylvia's sister). The two Mary's have been good friends since high school. Mary Solis was put in charge of the SPED ARD's, she knew nothing about special education. When Tolman was moved out of Rivera, Solis was moved up the ladder.

Anonymous said...

Linda has no experience. She taught 3 years then was spoon fed the principal position at her dad's namesake school. She inherited and exemplary campus and took it down to recognized. Then she went to junior high principal and now ages a high school principal. Ni qualifications. Pobrecita y pobrecitos los estudents. Ultimately the students pay the price. That women should of stayed at main office.

Anonymous said...

IT's called double dipping for Joe Ratriguez, he is an ambassador associate for BSN Sports, (he makes a commission on everything that is bought from his (company) he works for, also Herff Jones is owned by BSN Sports, HELLO, more commission for Ratriguez. Joe is not only pushing a prefferred vendor that vendor Herff Jones again is owned by BSN Sports. Google it.

Anonymous said...

The snitch is not on the payroll. Both of them
poss as volunteer, elected officials on the school
board. Cati at least no tenia pelos en la luenga
and spoke her mind at the meetings and not behind
the blog like these two idiots.
quidado Minnie con

Anonymous said...

Zendejas is the one keeping the district going.
When people do not appreciate the hard work
she does for the district, if I were her, I'd
tell you all to go to 7734 upside down. She
does not fear working like the lazy men who
were here before. Now Sylvia wants to take over
and spreading gossip about her. When you live
in glass houses, you should not throw stones!!!

Anonymous said...

IT's called double dipping for Joe Ratriguez, he is an ambassador associate for BSN Sports, (he makes a commission on everything that is bought from his (company) he works for, also Herff Jones is owned by BSN Sports, HELLO, more commission for Ratriguez. Joe is not only pushing a prefferred vendor that vendor Herff Jones again is owned by BSN Sports.


Anonymous said...

CARLOS PENIS HEAD man up and face the consequences of your own doing little pussy. Mary Solis beat you in level 3 grievance and as the coward that you are you ran into hiding like a little girl and you didn't show up to the school district meeting, asshole. All the school district employees hate your two face piece of shit hypocrite wife of yours Mrs. Elizondo. Good job principal Mary Solis on your victory, justice was serve. Don't fear Carlos PENIS HEAD elizondo, YOU ARE a total pussy.

Anonymous said...

No one donates anything without expecting something in return.

What was promised to Herff Jones in return?

Anonymous said...

Recently I saw an open letter signed by local educators to protest President Trump's nominee for Secy of Education. I applaud local educators for taking action, but at the same time it seems that local educators, especially those supportive of that open letter, should have the moral courage to stand up against corruption, fraud and abuse in their own school districts. We have a problem in American education because at the local level we have so many corrupt administrations and trustees; as we see in this article. If local educators are so fearful of their jobs that they lack moral courage to end this corruption, then it is hypocritical to write the president speaking out against a national appointee. As long as faculty, staff and parents of BISD lack the moral courage to stand up, corruption here will continue.

Anonymous said...

haha elizondos wife is two face as fuck. I have unfortunately gotten to know her